The Inaugural Digital Olympics
The Olympics have been held throughout the world in various incarnations since 1896, not counting the ancient Greek games. So at the first Olympics, people hardly had electricity, much less multiple viewing options.
Everything has changed with mobile and digital media, and the Olympics, despite being only every two years, is no exception. In fact, being only every two years (and four years between each summer and winter games) gives technology the opportunity to leap far ahead in between.
Digital Media Sticks the Landing
According to AdWeek, 28 million people have visited NBCOlympics.com since the Opening Ceremony. NBC has served up 64 million video streams, an improvement of 182 percent since the 2008 Olympics. It’s also important to note that in 2008, only 15 percent of people owned a smartphone and the iPad didn’t even exist.
Deadline.com reports that NBC’s Olympics apps have reached over six million downloads. Streaming of the Olympics (over 75 million video streams) has also cut into Netflix streaming, bringing it down 25 percent.
Rick Cordella, VP-general manager of NBC Sports and Olympics Digital, told AdAge.com that consumption numbers of digital viewing have surpassed expectations, especially on the tablet and mobile app made for live streaming.
The night of July 27, it’s not hard to guess what the big trending topic was on Twitter. Here’s a hint – it happened in London and the Queen was involved. And of course, digital and mobile media are worldwide – just like the Olympics. So you can see the thoughts of everyone in the world while you watch the best athletes in the world.
Between the athletes tweeting, viewers sharing their thoughts and Twitter even airing their own Olympics ads, it’s hard to ignore the impact this technology is having on the Olympics. ESPN’s Outside the Lines (OTL) hosted an interesting panel where experts weighed in on the impact of social media, largely Twitter, on the Olympics. I highly recommend watching the video if you’re interested in learning more.
Mobile and digital media also introduced the term “spoilers” to many – spilling the outcome of a television show before everyone’s seen it, thanks to DVR and watching online. The Olympics is no exception to the spoiler rule, as it’s too easy to see who’s won the gold before actually watching it.
But without digital media, how could you watch the US Olympic swim team lip sync “Call Me Maybe” on YouTube? Oh, go on and watch it.